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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 14  |  Page No.: 994 - 1003

Evaluation of Genetic Diversity in Aegilops geniculata Roth Accessions using Morphological and RAPD Markers

A. Mahjoub, Mohamed Salah El Gharbi, K. Mguis, Mohamed El Gazzah and N.B. Brahim    

Abstract: Thirteen Aegilops geniculata Roth (geniculate goat grass) accessions from collection of the North and Central Tunisian (Cap-Bon, Mogodses, Kroumiry and the Dorsal areas) were used to assess its genetic diversity by morphological and Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) data and to evaluate relationship between morphological and RAPD markers. Nineteen morphological traits were analyzed on all accessions using Principal Analysis Component (PCA) and clusters were constrained based on median joining distances. Nineteen arbitrary universal primers were used for the amplification of random DNA sequences and generated 212 bands ranging from 0.5 to 3 kb with 71.27% polymorphism across the 13 accessions. Both RAPD and morphological data classified accessions in two main groups. Both methods were used to compare how morphological traits and RAPD molecular markers described accessions relationship and showed a high degree of variation among analyzed accessions, indicating an important source of genetic diversity that can be used in future breeding programs. Morphological PCA traits and cluster indicated climatic stage. In fact, they grouped Ae. geniculata accessions according to genetic criteria such as earliness and high kernel yield. Comparison of morphological and molecular data using the Mantel test indicated a non significant correlation (r = -0.268). Nevertheless, RAPD and selected morphological characters appear as useful and complementary techniques for evaluation of genetic diversity in Ae. geniculata.

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